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Good work, bravery and dedication recognised at police awards ceremony

Posted on 26th September 2017

Heroes from all walks of life have been honoured at a special police awards ceremony at Pride Park Stadium.

Brave members of the public, seasoned detectives and long-serving members of staff were among the winners at last night’s Celebrating Achievements awards.

We also crowned Neighbourhood Team of the Year, Community Police Officer of the Year, PSCO of the Year and Special Constable of the Year.

Inspector Karl Mortimer was in London on March 22 when a terrorist drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed police officer PC Keith Palmer. Karl arrived on the scene moments after the attack and, alongside a colleague from Avon and Somerset Police, helped a group of 50 French students to safety.

The group had witnessed the attack and two were in a state of shock. He spent more than 10 hours comforting the group. Karl said: “We were not far away when we were getting information about the attack and were reading reports on social media. We decided to go to the bridge straight away.

“Our first reaction was to get people to safety. They needed our help. We’re police officers and that’s what we do. I’m sure other colleagues would have done the same thing that day.”

The title of Neighbourhood Team of the Year was presented to officers from Swadlincote, while Alfreton’s PC Mark Scott won Community Police Officer of the Year. Mark joined the force in 2008 and was recognised last night for his work to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, particularly in catching a man responsible for fuel thefts and securing the conviction of another man whose extreme behaviour had blighted the lives of his neighbours for a decade.

PSCO of the Year went to Dronfield’s Naomi Biggin, who had only been in the role for a year when she prevented a bank robbery from taking place. She has recently become a constable.

Special Constable of the Year was presented to Danielle Ball, who works in Derby. She often volunteers for more than 30 hours a week, initially alongside her university studies and now in her role as a call handler with the force. In May 2016, she helped detain a murder suspect and has stopped a suspicious van, searching the vehicle and the two men inside, finding drugs and stolen tools.

The team of detectives and investigators who worked tirelessly to secure the conviction of Christopher Magee were given commendations from Chief Constable Peter Goodman and the trial judge.

Magee was jailed for life in January for attacking a woman so severely that paramedics treating her couldn’t tell if the victim was a man or woman. Later, from prison, he conspired with others to plan an arson and acid attack to try and prevent her from giving evidence against him at court.

Senior Investigating Officer DI Emlyn Richards was one of the officers commended last night. He said: “The first aim of this investigation was always to keep the victim safe from further harm. I would like to praise her bravery in this case; having endured an horrific attack which left her with life threatening injuries, she was then subject to further threats and intimidation by Magee from prison.

“Magee was intent in preventing her from giving evidence against him, which ultimately would have seen him walk free and able to offend again. The courage, determination and resilience she displayed was absolutely amazing and should be celebrated as a first class example of standing up and being counted.”

A couple who saved a suicidal woman received the Derbyshire Constabulary Award in recognition of their bravery. Duncan and Sarah Oswald were driving in Mickleover when they saw a woman on the wrong side of railings on a bridge over the A38. They helped bring her to safety and flagged down a passing police car for support.

Derby resident Fiona Grice was commended by the chief constable for handing in a bag of stolen jewellery worth £50,000. A jeweller at the intu shopping centre was raided last August and the gang took a substantial amount of jewellery.

Four weeks later, Fiona’s teenaged son Jake discovered a rucksack while playing with friends. Seeing it contained a large amount of jewellery, Fiona took it straight to a police station. She was honoured last night for returning the jewellery while detectives Claudia Musson, Paul Beautyman and Chris Ford received commendations for investigating the robbery, which saw seven people jailed for a total of 55 years.

Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: “It was a real honour to present these awards to our officers and staff and have the chance to recognise some outstanding bravery and good deeds done by members of the community.

“Listening to some of the amazing stories last night was very humbling and I’m proud of our officers and staff and the fantastic work they do across the county every day.”

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